Myanmar UN rights expert disappointed with Government response

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has twice asked to visit Myanmar since last November, “without much success so far,” according to a statement released today in Geneva. All dates he has suggested have so far been rejected by the authorities. Concerning current developments, Mr. Pinheiro today voiced concern about plans for Myanmar’s National Convention, noting that steps had not been taken to “ensure minimum democratic conditions” for that event. “Without the participation of the National League of Democracy (NLD) and other political parties that won the majority of seats in the 1990 elections, the present National Convention has lost a unique opportunity for embracing a genuinely free, transparent and inclusive process involving all political parties, ethnic nationalities and members of civil society,” he said.The expert also reiterated his earlier assertion that if the ruling State Peace and Development Council wants to promote a genuine process of political transition, it must immediately restore basic political rights and freedoms, including the release of the NLD leaders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo.”The NLD party offices should be reopened, all other political prisoners must be released immediately and unconditionally, and there should be no more arrests or punishment for peaceful political activities,” he stressed.

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